Monthly Archives: August 2012

World Mystery Convention Is Calling You

Are you going to Bouchercon, or the World Mystery Convention?

The annual event is the perfect blend of mystery and thriller writers, enthusiastic fans, and hardworking professionals such as editors, agents and more. It’s the place where you can find a reader standing in a hotel lobby chatting up Lee Child or Chelsea Cain. Look closely: Lee or Chelsea probably are having as much fun, or more, than the reader.

This year’s event runs Oct. 4 to 7 in Cleveland, Ohio. You can go here for more information.

I know October’s a ways away. But you seriously should consider attending this thing.

Mystery Writing 101

I hate to say it, but mystery writing ain’t rocket surgery.

Yes: To be a novelist takes some talent. And a thick skin. And a metric ton of work.

But for all of that, there are a number of steps that can take out some of the tsuris, the aggravation and annoyance, the worrisome wheel-spinning. These are little tricks, but taken together, they make the mystery-writing process more fun, more efficient, and more likely to lead to those all-important words: THE END.

I’ll be teaching a workshop on “Mystery Writing 101” this fall at the Multnomah Art Center, 7688 S.W. Capitol Highway, in Multnomah Village. The center is part of Portland Parks & Recreation, and I’m grateful for teaming up with them for this event.

The workshops run 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, Oct. 13 to 27. Ages are 18 and older. Cost is $48 per person.

Want to know more? Call (503) 823-2787 or head over to the Multnomah Arts Center website.

Research Trip!

So it looks likely that my friend Tim King and I will be traveling next month to the former Yugoslavia to conduct research for the next novel. I’ll be doing research. Tim will be eating. Also chatting up perfect strangers and becoming their friend for life, which is his super power. I don’t honestly know how he does that.

The plan calls for hitting Zagreb, Sarajevo and Banja Luca for sure, but we haven’t cemented the research plans yet. The storyline: A congressional investigator looks into the Yugoslavian civil war and a far-right political party that may be connected to a terrorist strike in Western Europe.

Any travel suggestions from people who’ve been to Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina?

When the Word ‘Thriller’ is Pronounced ‘Portland’

Now, this is a good place to be in as a reader. I’m half way done with ALPHA by Greg Rucka. After which, I get to start KILL YOU TWICE by Chelsea Cain. Two of Portland’s brightest stars in the thriller genre.

Early review: ALPHA is damn good. Rucka has invented a wonderful new venue for this actioner. Can’t wait to see where the story takes us.

And I haven’t started Chelsea’s book but she’s money in the bank. Saying Chelsea Cain’s writing is exciting is like saying the Atlantic Ocean is wet.


Milestone Day!

I finished a major draft of the next novel last night. It was a complete slog.

Katy King’s photo from Varenna, Italy, on Lake Como.

I hit “save,” savored the moment, then shipped it off to my literary agent, Janet Reid.

Katy King and I sat for a moment and relaxed. I said, “Wow. We should celebrate.”


We sat.

“Wanna go to Fred Meyer?”


So we went to the grocery store! Do we know how to party or what!

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